While there's a lot more to flying a plane than just steering, pilots seated in a flight simulator wearing an EEG cap (an electrode studded cap that reads brain activity) were recently able to direct a plane's flight path hands free — just by picturing a joystick in their mind's eye. Predictably enough, this whipped up more than a fair share of media stories about "science fiction-style mind control." But the application of this technology is decades away — and even then, it's really only intended for disabled pilots.
Each of the five research groups involved in the EU-funded Brainflight project had different goals with more immediate applications. "I think that it is important to apply this technology to other areas — and it will most certainly be applied to other areas first," Tim Fricke, Brainflight's coordinator, from the Institute for Flight System Dynamics in Munich, said to DW."